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We are all thinking about the trips we have taken and the areas we cannot wait to explore. Any getaway that involves warm Caribbean waters and elegant beaches, and historical and cultural places is an escape worth daydreaming about. But what are the best Caribbean Ports for beaches?

The Caribbean has long been a hot spot for cruisers, but with so many regions and islands, it may be tough to narrow down where you want to go in the Caribbean. With an island for each taste, the Caribbean is the ultimate place for relaxation. You can discover white sands and turquoise water in the Caribbean Sea. Some islands also feature rain forests and mountain trails, while others have desert climates and coral beaches.

Here are some great Caribbean cruise ports with fabulous beaches for your consideration.  

Best Caribbean Cruise Ports For Beaches

Sapphire Beach, St. Thomas, USVI
Sapphire Beach, St. Thomas, USVI

St. Thomas

St. Thomas is a cosmopolitan cruise port that can accommodate up to 6 ships. It is the cruise lines’ most famous port in the Caribbean, with ships visiting almost every day. Ships dock at either Haven sight or Crown Bay. These two ports are on opposite sides of Charlotte Amalie, the capital. The Charlotte Amalie harbor is in a lovely setting, and the town certainly has enough stores to tempt every traveler. 

Since it is in the USA, the language, shopping, and currency are all familiar to Americans. Several cruise visitors take one of the several open-air taxi tours of the island or select to visit nearby St. John, most of which is a national park with beautiful beaches and better snorkeling. A port day in St. Thomas is great for snorkeling and sailing. The island has clear water and several old shipwrecks, which make diving the best choice, too. 

St. Thomas’ beaches frequently top lists of the world’s best. Magens Bay, located in a protected park, is probably the most famous beach. This being said, it gets crowded as cruise ship crowds disembark. Coki Point is popular with locals as well as tourists and is a lively beach. Don’t disregard Sapphire Beach, located in a residential area, the beach is less crowded with beautiful views of neighboring St. John.

airplane landing over Maho Beach in St. Maarten
Maho Beach

St. Maarten or St. Martin

St. Maarten is the Dutch side of an eastern Caribbean island with two distinct cultures, French and Dutch. The two countries have different spellings, with the French accent half spelled i.e. St. Martin. Most big cruise ships dock at Philipsburg, the capital of St. Maarten, though small ships anchor at Marigot, the French capital. Though St. Maarten or St. Martin is small, it takes a couple of hours to ride between the two cities. Philipsburg and Marigot both have great shopping, and the beaches on the island are beautiful. A port day in St. Maarten should include a visit to the beach.

The most famous beach is Baie Orientale (Orient Beach) on the French side. Though it is well known for being clothing optional, the beach is beautiful and has some of the best cafes and bars. The island has many other spectacular beaches, but those on the French side of St. Martin are clothing optional. 

Maho Beach on the Dutch side is popular with tourists because of its location. The beach is next to the island’s airport, so airplanes fly just over beachgoers. One of the most common beach photos to take here are with a flight landing that appears like it is mere feet above your head!  

Governor Beach in Grand Turks
Governor Beach

Grand Turk

The small island of Grand Turk is a good port of call for those wanting the best watersports as part of their Eastern Caribbean cruise. There are plenty of ways to enjoy a port day in Grand Turk without booking a tour. Edged with powder-soft white sand, the island’s beaches are excellent for sunbathing and shelling. 

Most cruisers do not get more than some steps from the pier where you will discover the Grand Turk Cruise Center. It has 18 acres of duty-free shopping, landscaped grounds, swimming pools, and beaches. Snorkelers can see fish and cannons submerged in the pool, while Jimmy Buffett fans may spend the day soaking up the music, cocktails, and food at Margaritaville.

To avoid the rowdy and noisy crowds, take a taxi to some less popular beaches, like Governor’s Beach. You’ll find the same glorious white sand and clear blue water. However, some of the beaches will not offer amenities like vendors or lounge chairs. But instead, beachgoers will love listening to the waves. You can’t go wrong which beach you opt to lay on. 

beach in Bridgetown, Barbados with jet ski and sailboats


Barbados is in the southeast Caribbean and is typically included on either long cruises or those embarking from San Juan. The island has the Caribbean on its peaceful western coast and the Atlantic Ocean on its eastern coast. 

Walk about a mile into downtown Bridgetown for rum shops and sightseeing, passing Cheapside Market and Church of St Mary along the way. Beaches are a short stroll and bus ride from the port. Local taxis are reasonable and will get you to the beaches faster. The beaches in Bridgetown are conveniently located, and you’ll even see sea turtles just off the shore.

The west coast of the island is where the soft sand and the largest beaches can be found. Wherever you go during your port day in Barbados, there is a beach waiting for you. There are a lot of beaches found in Barbados, mostly to the south and west of the island.

Antigua beach


Known for its sandy beaches and UNESCO-listed Nelson’s Dockyard, a port day in Antigua has plenty to provide visiting cruisers. This small island has grown to become one of cruisers’ favorite stops. Several factors make this island stand out, but the clearest one has to be its beaches. 

Believe it or not, Antigua has 365 powdery-soft white sandy beaches, one for each day of the year, and it is not difficult to find one, two, or ten that are your favorites. As soon as you disembark from your ship, there will be loads of taxi drivers willing to take you to the beach of your choice. I recommend avoiding the more well-known beaches like Valley Church Beach and Dickenson Bay. Instead, opt for just as beautiful spots as Darkwood Beach and Ffryes Beach. 

No matter which beach you opt to visit, you won’t be disappointed with Antigua’s gorgeous beaches and laid-back atmosphere. 

woman standing with flamingos on Flamingo Beach, Aruba
Flamingo Beach – reserve ahead of time!


Aruba is a 69-square-mile island, and it is a part of the Netherlands.  It’s situated just north of Venezuela. Together with Curacao and Bonaire, Aruba helps make up the illustrious ABC islands.  With its best beaches and forests, the consistently sunny island is a favorite point for cruisers. Due to its location in the southern Caribbean, it is located outside the hurricane belt. This strategic location and the fact that it enjoys further sunshine days than any other Caribbean destination makes it a famous port of call. 

Aruba offers you world-class white soft beaches with crystal clear turquoise waters. This port can get quite crowded since it’s big enough to house up to 5 ships at once, so it’s best to strategize your port day in Aruba before getting off the ship, so you know where you need to go right away. 

Aruba calls itself One Happy Island, which can have something to do with the fact that it rains here infrequently. So, a sunny day at Eagle Beach is practically guaranteed. Aruba has so many beaches that it would be hard to pick one perfect beach. There are secluded and party beaches, so no matter your style, there is a fabulous beach for you. Remember that if you want to visit Flamingo Beach, you must make arrangements in advance.

Final Thoughts on Caribbean Ports With Best Beaches

Almost every Caribbean port offers beaches. But not all beaches are equal. Whether you’re looking for something different, something more natural, or even a party scene, these Caribbean ports offer you the best options.

Which Caribbean port has the most fabulous beaches, in your opinion? Where should we explore next?

Check out these additional cruising articles:

Happy travels,
Annick, The Common Traveler

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Caribbean Ports With Fabulous Beaches | The Common Traveler shares her favorite Caribbean cruise ports offering amazing beaches. You can't go wrong with any of these on your itinerary!